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Bible Commentaries
Philippians 1

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1


1. This book was written by Paul about A.D. 64 from Rome to the Church at Philippi in Macedonia and to be circulated by bishops and elders among other churches of the Macedonia fellowship of churches.

2. The letter is a receipt of thanks and gratitude for Missionary help from the

Church at Philippi in particular.

3. The theme of the Book is Christian experience. The matter of soundness in

doctrine and orderliness in worship and service are assumed to have existed in the Church.

4. The book logically falls under a four part analysis in presenting the Christian:

experience of each obedient servant of Christ in the Church.

1) Chapter I considers Jesus Christ as the source and sustenance of the believers life and joy in the face of afflictions and sufferings.

2) Chapter II considers Christ as the believer’s pattern of humility and joy in lowly service.

3) Chapter III considers Christ as the believer’s object of faith, desire, and expectation.

4) Chapter IV considers Jesus Christ as the source of the believers strength and ample help, even in rejoicing over anxieties.


1) "Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ" (Paulos kai Timotheos douloi christou iesou) "Paul and Timothy, bondslaves or servants of Jesus Christ," are senders of this letter. The message is by Paul with Timothy considered to be the scribe, or writer, as directed by Paul. Though in prison, Paul yet served Jesus Christ

2) "To all the saints in Christ Jesus" (pasin tois hagios en christou iesou) "To or directed to all the saints in Christ Jesus;" to all the "holy ones" refers to members of the church not only "in" Christ as believers, but also ""in Christ" in the sense of the covenant fellowship work of Christ in the church at Philippi.

3) "Which are in Philippi” (tois ousin en philippois) "To the ones (especially) being in or abiding in Philippi." This term limits and restricts the persons to whom the letter was addressed to "the saints" (the ones) in Philippi, the particular church, congregation, or assembly that had supported Paul and his mission helpers and projects from the first time he was with them, Philippians 1:5.

4) "With the bishops and deacons" (sun episkopois kai diakonois) "In colleague or close association with bishops and ministers, or deacons." The Greek term "sun" means in colleague, or close association with bishops, or pastors, and deacons. Because the definite article is absent in relationship to plurality of bishops and deacons --- it appears that this letter, first addressed to the Philippian saints, was also to be shared with other bishops (overseers, pastors) and deacons of the greater Macedonian association of churches, who had once begged Paul to take upon him certain missionary and benevolent administrative labors, on their behalf, 2 Corinthians 8:1-4; 2 Corinthians 8:19-20; 2 Corinthians 8:23-24; 2 Corinthians 9:1; 2 Corinthians 9:12-13. There may exist a plurality of elders, (ordained mature brethren of approved pastoral or deacon qualifications) in one church, or a plurality of deacons, but never a plurality of bishops (or overseers) in one church. Though the term elder or elders may sometimes refer -to pastors, this is not always true.

Verse 2

1) "Grace be unto you, and peace" (charis humin kai eirene) "Grace to you all,” let be, or may there be. Grace brings salvation to sinners that results in peace with God, in which Paul gloried, Titus 2:11; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 5:1.

2) "From God our Father" (apo theou patros hemon) "From (even the) Father of us." In the plan of redemption, grace and peace came from the trinitarian God, even the Father, 1 Peter 1:18-20.

3) "And from the Lord Jesus Christ" (kai kuriou iesou christou). "And (the) Lord Jesus Christ;" Both grace and peace in regeneration and Christian experience have their initiative source or origin of existence in the Lord Jesus Christ, John 1:17; John 14:6; John 8:32; John 8:36.

Verse 3

1) "I thank my God" (eucharisto to theo mou) “I thank the God (trinitarian Deity) of me." Paul was a person with gratitude toward God for his salvation and call to service, and to individuals and churches which shared with him in the gospel ministry, Romans 1:8-9; 1 Corinthians 1:4; Ephesians 1:16. Every child of God is grateful or grouchy -- Which am I?

2) "Upon every remembrance of you" (epi pase te mneia humon) "At or upon every memory or remembrance of you." The surrendered lives and devotions to Christ which Paul in prison recalled, of the Philippian brethren, caused or was an occasion for his thanksgiving to God for them. See also Colossians 1:3; 1 Thessalonians 1:2.

Verse 4

1) "Always in every prayer of mine" (pantote en pase deesel mou) "Always in every petition of mine." Paul petitioned, stormed the throne of grace often on behalf of the Philippian church and bishops and deacons in colleague with them, Hebrews 4:15-16.

2) "For you all" (huper panton humon) "On behalf of you all." Note Paul believed that prayers of saints to God, on behalf of other saints, would be granted, 1 Timothy 2:1; James 5:16.

3) "Making request with joy" (meta charas ten deesin poioumenos) "Continually making the petition with joy or gladness," so much like the church began its witnessing ministry and fellowship, Acts 2:42; Acts 2:46-47.

Verse 5

1) "For your fellowship in the gospel" (epi te koinomia humon eis to evangelion) "Over the fellowship of you in the bearing of the good news." This refers to the Philippians’ common fellowship in sharing in the gospel of Christ through prayers for and gifts sent to Paul for his mission needs.

2) "From the first day until now" (apo tes protes hemeras achri) "From the first day of our fellowship until the very moment," again referred to in Philippians 4:10.

Verse 6

1) “Being confident of this very thing" (pepoithos auto touto) “Being certain, assured, or confident of this very thing," 2 Timothy 1:12.

2) "That he that hath begun a good work in you" (hoti ho evarksamenos en humin ergon agathon) "That the one having begun an inner good work in you;" a work of grace that motivated the brethren to work out or manifest their salvation, Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 2:12-13; James 1:22; James 2:18.

3) "Will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (epitelesei achri hemeras christou iesou) "Will continue, finish, or complete it until the day of Jesus Christ" This expresses Paul’s assurance of eternal salvation to every child of God. "The work of God" within the believing saint, the operation and sealing of the Holy Spirit, guarantees the soul-security of every child of God from the dangers of hell to the bliss of heaven, John 6:27-29; Ephesians 1:13-14; Ephesians 4:30; Romans 8:11.

Verse 7

1) "Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all" (kathos estin dikaion emoi touto phronein huper panton humon) "Just as it is right for me to think this on behalf of you all;" in the sense that "I know it is proper" to think this of you all, Matthew 7:16.

2) "Because I have you in my heart" (dia to echein me en te kardis humas) "Because I have or hold you all in my heart," emotions or affections. The heart, to the Jewish people, was considered the seat or center of human affections. Thus Paul said simply, "I have you in my affections, or I love you sincerely." As one was to love the Lord with his heart, so was he to love the brethren, Matthew 22:37; John 13:34-35.

3) "Inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel” (en te tois desmois mou kai en to apologia kai bebaiosei tou evangeliou) "Both in my bonds (hand and feet cuffs) and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, or good news." In Paul’s prison chains and in his defense when tried, brought before the Roman Emperor, the value and claims of the gospel of Jesus Christ were validated, through the joint fellowship of the Philippian brethren, 2 Timothy 4:16, in his second defense.

4) "Ye all are partakers of my grace" (sugoinonous mou tes charitos pantas humas ontas) "You are all being common sharers of the grace I experience, have or hold," which is shared by and available to you, 2 Corinthians 3:6; 2 Corinthians 12:9-10. They had shared not only in his general mission ministry, but also in his legal appearance in Caesar’s Court. For such fidelity, gratitude was expressed in this letter of salutation or greeting.

Verse 8


1) "For God is my record" (martus gar mou ho theos) ’For God is my witness, record, or testimony." This is a solemn form of honest appeal and certification as found in Romans 1:9-11; Galatians 1:20; Job 16:19. God keeps records of man’s thoughts and deeds, Ecclesiastes 12:14; Matthew 12:36; 2 Corinthians 5:10.

2) "How greatly I long after you all" (hos epipotho pantas humas) "How (to the great extent that) I long after you all," with fondness, care, or appreciation.

3) "In the bowels of Jesus Christ" (en splagchnois christou iesou) "In the bowels or affections or compassions of Jesus Christ." The Greeks used the term "bowels" to refer to the center of affections, as the Jews used the "heart." Neither believed the actual physical bowels or heart "loved," but used this figure to express a center of location for man’s emotions, love and hate, Philemon 1:7; Philemon 1:12; Philemon 1:20; Matthew 22:37.

Verse 9

1) "And this I pray “ (kai touto proseuchomai) "And on behalf of this I pray," or for this purpose I pray.

2) "That your love may abound yet more and more" (hina he agape humon eti mailon kai mallon perisseue) "in order that your love may abound more and more, referring to their love for one another since they had already expressed their love to Paul continuously. He desired that their love would "keep on keeping on" in its existence and manifestation toward one another in the Lord, 1 Corinthians 13:1-13; Romans 12:9; Romans 12:16; Romans 13:8; Romans 13:10.

3) "In knowledge and in all judgment" (en epignosei kai pase aisthesei) "in full knowledge and every perception," or perception of all things properly." 2 Peter 3:18. This refers especially to a sensibility of moral and ethical values and judgment in ones’ behavior, tact, as in Hebrews 5:14.

Verse 10

1) "That ye may approve" (eis to dokimazein humas) "That you all may prove or demonstrate," to discern, test, or discriminate in favor of, Romans 12:2; Ephesians 5:17.

2) "Things that are excellent" (ta diapheronta) " The things differing," in the sense of excellent things in conduct, deportment, or behavior, things that transcend in moral and ethical values, Colossians 3:12.

3) "That ye may be sincere" (hina ete eilekrineis) "in order that ye may be sincere," (I pray). The term translated "sincere" is used in the sense of pure ... moral purity, 1 Timothy 5:22; Philippians 4:8.

4) "And without offense until the day of Christ" (kai aproskopoi eis hemeran christou) "And unoffending, or without offense, till the day of Christ." Do not let yourself be an occasion for someone to stumble and fall into sin or wrong in any manner that is morally wrong, Romans 14:21; James 2:10; Titus 2:11-13.

Verse 11

1) "Being filled with the fruits of righteousness" (peperomenoi karpon dikaiosunes) "Having been filled with fruit of righteousness." Righteous conduct, made possible by a right spiritual relationship with Jesus Christ, produces good fruit, a useful influence and testimony. These things Paul yearned to see in believers, Galatians 5:22-23.

2) "Which are by Jesus Christ" (ton dia iesou christou) "Which is through Jesus Christ" without whom one can bear no good fruit, but through whom all should bear and must bear good fruit to please the Master, John 15:5; Ephesians 2:10.

3) "Unto the glory and praise of God" (eis doksan kai epainon theou) "Unto glory and praise of God;" the end objective of all holy, divine, sanctified service, John 15:8; Matthew 5:16; Ephesians 3:21.


In the palmy days of Roman prosperity, when her merchants lived in their marble palaces on the banks of the Tiber, there was a sort of emulation in the grandeur and artistic adornment of their dwellings. Good sculptors were eagerly sought after and employed. But tricks were sometimes practiced, then as now; thus, if the sculptor came upon a flaw in the marble, or chipped a piece out by accident, he had a carefully prepared wax, with which he filled in the chink, and so carefully fixed it as to be imperceptible. In process of time, however, heat or damp would effect the wax, and reveal its presence. The consequence was, that when new contracts were made for commissioned works of art, a clause was added to the effect that they were to be sine cera, or without cement Hence we have our word sincere, a word picture of great significance.


Verse 12

1) "But I would ye should understand" (ginoskein de humas boulomai) "Now I will of my own accord you all to understand;" to be informed, enlightened, or kept aware.

2) "Brethren" (adelphoi) "Brothers," case of direct address, indicating filial, affectionate care.

3) "That the things which happened unto me"(hoti ta kat’ eme) "That the occurrence of affairs about me;" the circumstances of my affairs, matters of concern to the Philippian brethren who had been his regular helpers.

4) "Have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel" (mallon eis porcupine tou evangelliou ;elebuthein) "Have come rather to the advance of the gospel." It appears that this letter may have been written shortly after Paul was taken from the liberty of living in his own hired (rented) house in Rome to the confines of the Roman prison, Acts 28:30, from where many of Caesar’s household still came to call on him, Philippians 4:22. This was the spirit of Joseph regarding the evil that befell him by his brethren, Genesis 45:5-8; Genesis 50:20; 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.

Verse 13

1) "So that my bonds in Christ are manifest" (hoste tous desmous mou phanerous en christo) "To-the extent that my bonds in Christ are manifest or do appear." His bonds or chains for Christ were real, literal, not merely mental suppression. The term "bonds" refers not merely to his imprisonment, but to the intimidating, demeaning chains.

2) "In all the palace" (genesthai en holo to pratorio) "To become (manifest) in all the praetorium," or in Caesar’s praetorium, court, Philippians 4:22. Paul was on prison display, made a publicly visible object of derision for the palace review. In these bonds of derision Paul had no shame of the gospel, Romans 1:16.

3) "And in all other places" (kai tois loipois pasin) "And in all other places," or to all others, other people ... the general public. He, like our Lord on the cross, seems also to have been put in visible chain-bonds to be observed by the general public to pass by and deride, Luke 23:35.

Verse 14

1) "And many of the brethren in the Lord" (kai tous pleionas ton adelphon en jury) "And the majority of the brethren in the Master;" the main body of brethren in the Lord, the Christians as a whole.

2) "Waxing confident by my bonds" (pepoithotas tois desmois mou) "Being confident in my bonds," or "having confidence in my bonds," being encouraged by the favorable light in which his imprisonment was being received when seen in its true character, Acts 4:19-21.

3) "Are much more bold" (preposterous dolman) "(Are) more exceedingly daring or bold," Acts 4:29.

4) "To speak the word without fear" (aphobos ton logon tou theou alein) "To speak fearlessly the Word of God," fearless of the consequences of obeying God or cowing to contradictory edicts of men, Daniel 3:16-18; Acts 5:27-29.

Verse 15

1) "Some indeed preach Christ" (tines men ton christon kerussousin) "Some indeed or even proclaim the Christ." Men may do a good work even out of bad motives; 1) some for fear, 2) some for personal financial gain, 3) some for popularity, 4) some for jealousy, 5) some out of a sense of duty, and 6) some for love, the highest of life’s motives for service.

2) "Even of envy and strife" (kai dia phthonon kai erin) “Even because of envy and strife;" for competitive purposes of rivalry, jealousy, or revenge, Galatians 1:7. Such also corrupt or make a trade, commercial business, merchandise of the Word of God, 2 Corinthians 2:17; 2 Peter 2:1-3.

3) "And some also of good will" (tines de kai di’ eudokian) "But some also through or because of good will;" preach Christ, the Redeemer, King of glory, Acts 21:14; Romans 1:14-16; 1 Timothy 2:8.

Verse 16

1) "The one preach Christ of contention" (hoi de eks eritheias ton christon katangellousin) "The ones out of rivalry preach Christ," presenting another gospel, a gospel of perversion, Galatians 1:6-9; 2 Peter 2:12-19.

2) "Not sincerely" (ouch agnos) "Not of holy motive;" with ulterior, devious, selfish purpose, with impure design, Judges 1:4; Judges 1:10; Judges 1:16-19.

3) "Supposing to add affliction to my bonds" (oiomenoi thlipsin egerein tois desmois mou) "Thinking or intending to add affliction or tribulation to my bonds." Perhaps among these were Alexander, Hymanaeus, and Phyletus, 2 Timothy 2:16-18; 1 Timothy 1:20; 1 Timothy 6:20-21.

Verse 17

1) "But the other of love" (hoi men eks agapes) "But the others out of love." Those shall prosper, Psalms 122:6; Romans 13:8. The love of Christ constrains to true gospel witnessing, 2 Corinthians 5:14.

2) "Knowing that I am set for the defense of the gospel” (eidotes hoti eis apologian tou evangelliou keimai) "Perceiving that I am set, fixed, or placed for the defense of the gospel." True, believers, mature church members, and even sincere church laymen feel secure and assured when they have a pastor, teacher, or leader in whom they can fully confide for the defense of the Word of truth. How much better it is to have a pilot, a captain, a guide who knows what he is doing, where he is going, and how to get there than to have or try to follow one who has fear, wavers, and is uncertain, unprepared for the defense of the gospel, uncertain about how to meet every doctrinal dart of the enemy! Paul was "set" for it; Peter commanded that each should prepare for the same, 1 Peter 3:15; Psalms 119:46.

Verse 18

1) "What then? Notwithstanding, every way" (ti gar; plen hoti panti tropo) "What then? Nevertheless that in every way." There was room enough in Rome and elsewhere for all workers in the cause of Christ, without regards to the good, bad, or indifferent motives of the witnesses. It is the Word given that is blessed.

2) "Whether in pretense, or in truth, Christ is preached"-(eite prophasei eite aletheia christos kantangelletai) "Whether in pretense or in truth Christ is announced." The Word of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ never return to the Lord empty, without fruit, but is a savour of "life unto life or death unto death," Isaiah 55:10-11; 2 Corinthians 2:14-17. Let the Word be given and it will bring some result, some fruit, always; Ecclesiastes 11:1-6.

3) "And I therein do rejoice" (kai en touto chairo) "And in this I rejoice” Paul affirmed what he taught about "rejoicing always in the Lord," and that he had learned in whatever state he was therewith to be content, Philippians 4:4; Philippians 4:11.

4) "Yea, and will rejoice" (alla kaltharasomai) "Yet I will also rejoice, " rejoice of my. own accord, of my own will because I know it is right, Romans 12:15; John 8:56; 1 Peter 1:8; John 15:11; John 16:33.

Verse 19

1) "For I know that this shall turn" (oida gar hoti touto moi apobesetai) "For I know that this will result to me," be turned to, toward, or in my favor, in spite of the hypocrite -- a spirit expressed by Job, Job 13:16.

2) "To my salvation through your prayer" (eis soterian dia tes humon) "In (my) salvation or deliverance through your petition." Paul expected or hoped for his prison release as a physical victory for Christ and His church, Philippians 1:25-27. The promise of Christ, Paul trusted, would be applicable to him in his prison circumstance, Luke 12, 12; Yet, Paul was willing to glorify Christ whether in life or in death, Romans 14:8.

3) "And the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ" (kai epichoregias tou pneumatos iesou christou) " And supply of the spirit of Jesus Christ." It or He never runs out on, desert or takes a vacation from the soul of the redeemed. The Holy Spirit is an indwelling, comforting, chiding, and guiding leader for every saint who is willing to follow His leading, John 3:34; John 14:16-17; Romans 8:14; Romans 8:16; Philippians 4:13; Philippians 4:19. Let it be noted that what Paul wrote and preached on, moral, ethical, and doctrinal matters, he also exemplified in higher conduct.

Verse 20

1) "According to my earnest expectation and my hope" (kata ten apokaradokian kai elpida mou) "According to the eager expectation and hope of me." Paul was an optimist in Christ, surrendered to His will for his life so that he embraced the truth that "all things" (kinds of things) "work together for the good of them that love God, to them that are called according to his purpose," Romans 8:28.

2) "That in nothing I shall be ashamed" (hoti en oudeni aischunthesomai) "That in not one thing I shall be ashamed ." He had written the Roman brethren that he was "not ashamed" of the gospel of Jesus Christ, Romans 1:14-16. He was about to seal the sincerity of his testimony with his blood, still unashamed. What consistency!! Romans 5:5; Romans 10:11; 2 Timothy 1:8; 2 Timothy 2:15; 1 Peter 4:16.

3) "But that with all boldness" (all’ en pase parresia) "But in all boldness;" the spirit of a true soldier, faithful steward, obedient servant, 2 Corinthians 10:2; Ephesians 3:12; Hebrews 4:16; Acts 13:46; Acts 4:29.

4) "As always" (hos pantote) "As in all things and circumstances;” before Felix, Agrippa, the Philippian jailer, and the intellectuals at Mars’ Hill, etc., Acts 16:1 to Acts 17:34; Acts 24:1 to Acts 26:32.

5) "So now also Christ shall be magnified in my body" (kai nun megalunthesetai christos en to somati mou) "Even now and hereafter Christ shall be magnified in my body." What a resolution testimony of bodily commitment to the Lord, even down to old age. There was no "I’ve done my part" attitude held by this or any saint, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 1 Corinthians 9:27; Romans 12:1-2.

6) "Whether it be by life, or by death" (eite dia zoes eite dia thanatou)"Whether through life or through death," Galatians 2:20; 2 Corinthians 5:8-13.

It was Coleridge who wrote regarding death: "Death only supplies the oil for the extinguishable lamp of Life." John 8:12.

Verse 21

1) "For to me to live is Christ" (emoi gar to zen christos) “For to me to live (is) Christ" is devotion to Christ, to His service, Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 4:24. Christ is that "new man" that every true believer and saint is to put on, as exemplified in the life of this prison-apostle, prison-saint, and prison- warrior.

2) "And to die is gain" (kai to pathanein kerdos) "And to die (is) gain." It is gain in at least five ways:

1) physical ways,

2) mental ways,

3) moral ways,

4) social ways, and

5) spiritual ways, to dwell in the house of the Lord forever, Psalms 23:6; 2 Corinthians 5:1; Revelation 14:13.

Verse 22

1) "But if I live in the flesh" (ei de to zen en sarki) "But if to-live in (the) flesh," the way of flesh, natural depravity; "but if life in the flesh be my portion." Paul sought to convince the brethren that death held no terror for him, but pure gain in the light of eternal truth.

2) "This is the fruit of my labor" (touto moi karpos ergou) ’This tome (is) fruit of (my) work." The "this" that existed as the fruit of his labor referred to his bondage, burdens, and troubles which he accepted within the will of God and was willing to bear to show the sufficiency of the grace of God, 2 Corinthians 3:6; Philippians 4:13; Philippians 4:19.

3) "Yet what I shall choose" (kai ti hairesomai) "And what I shall choose or select to do of my own accord or volition." This seems to refer to Paul’s indefinite or unfixed decision concerning his manner of defense for his life and release from the Roman prison.

4) "I wot not" (ou gnorizo) "I perceive not." While Paul was inspired in what he wrote, God did not reveal to him each step of the way for his future life on earth. Like Christians today, he had to seek it, one day at a time; Matthew 6:11; Romans 7:21-25; Romans 8:14; Romans 8:16; Romans 8:26; Hebrews 13:15.

Verse 23

1) "For I am in a strait betwixt two" (sunechomai de ek ton duo) "Yet I am constrained by the duo, the two." Paul expressed sentiment that he was held in or hemmed in on both sides, of good and evil; an expression of the conflict of the will of the Spirit and the will of the flesh in the saved person, until death, Romans 7:15-25. The choice is clear, Galatians 5:25.

2) "Having a desire to depart" (ten epithumian echon eis to analusai) "Having, holding, containing, or possessing the desire to depart, to be let loose to go up," 2 Corinthians 5:2; 2 Corinthians 5:8.

3) "And to be with Christ" (kai sun christo einai) "And to be in close affinity and proximity with Christ;" John 14:1-3; 2 Corinthians 5:8-9; 1 Thessalonians 4:17.

4) "Which is far better" (pollo gar mallon kreissa) "Which is by far much better." Where there is joy and where there are pleasures forevermore, without ceasing; Psalms 16:11; untold blessings, fellowship, and wealth await the prepared, 1 Corinthians 2:9; who have proper reservations, 1 Peter 1:4-9.

Verse 24

1) "Nevertheless to abide in the flesh" (te delpimenein te sarki) "But to remain in the flesh, natural body," to hold fast for its rights to live and testify for Christ, as a civil and religious right, was profitable to the Philippian brethren and to the completion of the inspired Word, 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

2) "Is more needful for you" (anagkai6teron di’ humas) more necessary on account of you all," for the flock, for the freedom and liberty of the church’s civil right to preach Jesus Christ, without persecution. To use tongue and pen in defense of the gospel was more beneficial to the church, then and now, than Paul’s immediate death, 2 Timothy 4:7-8.

Verse 25

1 ) "And having this confidence" (kai touto pepoithos) "And (in this) being confident," or having or holding this confidence, personal conviction, that his life and freedom from the Roman prison was needful for the Philippian brethren, Romans 1:11-12.

2) "I know that I shall abide and continue with you all" (oida hoti meno kai parameno pasin humin) "I know that I shall remain and keep on keeping on in close association or colleague with you all," of the mission-caring church in Philippi. As our-Lord loved His own, even to the end, so did Paul, his exemplar apostle to the Gentiles, John 13:34-35; John 17:1-26; 2 Timothy 4:1-6.

3) "For your furtherance and joy of faith" (eis ten humon prokopen kai chara tes pisteos) "For your furtherance and joy of the faith," or progress in system of truth. Paul felt that his prison release would be for the progress growth of the faith of the Philippian brethren, a strong hope of love he held for them, Ephesians 2:10; 2 Peter 3:18; Romans 15:29.

Verse 26

1) "That your rejoicing" (hina to kauchema humon) "in order that the boasting, lauding, rejoicing, or extolling of you," (Which I do), or the ground of their glorying may increase as they saw the sufficiency of Christ in meeting Paul’s prison needs, emotionally and spiritually, 2 Corinthians 3:6.

2) "May be more abundant in Jesus Christ" (perisseue en christo iesou en emoi) "May abound in Christ Jesus in me," by which their faith should be confirmed and their joy increased. Jesus Christ is the person and sphere of Christian growth that pleases God, Philippians 3:13-14; Romans 15:13; 1 Corinthians 15:58; 2 Corinthians 1:5.

3) "For me by my coming to you again" (dia tes emes parousias palin pros humas) "Through my presence again with you." Paul looked forward to joining the Philippian brethren again in Christian fellowship, person to person; For it is in church fellowship and worship that our Lord appears in a most comforting and revealing way, Matthew 28:19-20; Matthew 18:20; John 17:24.

Verse 27

1) "Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ" (monon haksios tou evangelliou tou christou politeuesthe) "Only conduct yourselves worthily of the gospel of Christ," in attitude, what you say, think, and do, Ephesians 4:1; Colossians 1:10.

2) "That whether I come and see you" (hina eite eithon kai idon humas) "in order that whether coming and seeing you." Whether the providence, will of God, permits my coming and seeing you ’in this uncertain body, Job 7:7; Job 14:1; 1 Peter 1:24.

3) "Or else be absent" (eite apon) "Or being absent," a possibility, in a world that lieth in darkness, iniquity, and uncertainty, 1 John 5:19; James 4:13-15.

4) "I may hear of your affairs" (akouo ta peri humon) "I may hear the things concerning you," 3 John 1:3-4; 3 John 1:11-12; Judges 1:3.

5) "That ye stand fast in one spirit" (hoti saekete en eni pneumati) "That ye in one spirit," disposition of unity and love, "stand up straight," a good report is a strength to the receiver, as a letter of good will from a far away loved one, Proverbs 15:30; Hebrews 11:2-3; Hebrews 11:9.

6) "With one mind" (mi psuche) "in one soul" Life attitude, harmony of spirit and mind, Ephesians 4:1-3, to be firmly united in the dispensing, promulgating of the gospel.

7) "Striving together for the faith of the gospel" (sunathlountes tes pistei tou evangeliou) "Striving, working hard together in the system of teachings and practice of the gospel;" 1 Corinthians 3:9; John 4:34-36; 1 Corinthians 15:57-58.

Verse 28

1) "And in nothing terrified by your adversaries" (kai me pturomenoi en medeni hupo ton antikeimenon) "And in not one thing being terrified by the opposing ones." Not like scared horses stampeding because of adversaries, turning away from the right road for fear of men, Matthew 10:28. For the "fear of man" brings a snare or trap for a child of God, Proverbs 29:25.

2) "Which is to them an evident token of perdition" (hetis estin autois endeiksis apoleias) "Which is to them a proof of destruction." Fear is but a token, to the wicked, of what their impenitent state in hell shall be when they are tormented in the torments that await them if they only consider it, Luke 16:24-25; Luke 16:28; 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9.

3) "But to you of salvation" (humon de soterias) "But of you all, of salvation it is a proof;" of deliverance from hell forever because you have eternal life, "shall not come into condemnation," John 5:24; Hebrews 13:5-6. So God’s children are not to fear, let fear of what man may do, control their lives, Romans 8:15.

4) "And that of God" (kai touto apo theou) "And this (not being terrified at your opposition) is from God," this salvation or deliverance is from God’s palace guard, Psalms 34:7; Hebrews 1:14.


John Noyes, kissing the stake, said, "Blessed be the time that ever I was born for this day." To his fellow-martyrs he said, "We shall not lose our lives in this fire, but change them for a better, and for coals have pearls." John Huss said to a countryman who threw a fagot at his head, "Oh, holy simplicity, God send thee better light! You roast the goose now, but a swan shall come after me, and he shall escape your fire." Huss, a goose in the Bohemian language; and Luther, a swan. Castilla Rupea:-- "Though you throw my body down off this steep hill, yet will my soul mount upwards again. Your blasphemies more offend my mind than your torments do my body." Doctor Taylor, as he was going to martyrdom: "I shall this day deceive the worms in. Hadley churchyard," and fetching a leap or two when he came within two miles of Hadley, "Now," saith he, "lack I but two stiles, and I am even at my Father’s house."

--Bib. Ill.

Verse 29

1) "For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ" (hoti humin echaristhe to huper christou) "Because to you it was and is given on behalf of Christ;" to bear the cross is to wear the victor’s crown, Romans 8:17-18; 2 Timothy 2:12; 1 Peter 2:21.

2) "Not only to believe on him" (ou monon to eis auton pisteuein) "Not only in him to believe," John 1:11-12; Ephesians 2:8-9; 1 Corinthians 13:13.

3) "But also to suffer for his sake" (alla kai to huper autou paschein) "But also to suffer on behalf of him." Suffering, enduring rejection of the world for a stand for Christ, is to be accepted as of Divine order and a gift from God, foretold by our Lord, Matthew 5:11-12; Recognized and accounted an occasion of joy by the early disciples and affirmed by Paul, Acts 5:41; 1 Timothy 3:12.

Verse 30

1) "Having the same conflict" (ton auton agona echontes) ’-’Having or experiencing the same struggle, agony, or conflict," with opposers of the gospel and the church of Jesus Christ, in the streets, and in the synagogues, and in the courts, both in Philippi and elsewhere, 1 Thessalonians 2:2; Galatians 1:6-9.

2) "Which ye saw in me" (hoion eidete en emoi) "Which things ye perceived in me," when I was first cast into the Philippian jail, Acts 16:19-40.

3) "And now hear to be in me" (kai nun akouete en emoi) ’And now (with continuity) ye hear (to be) in I me," through this letter and brethren who had and were yet to visit them from Paul’s prison cell and his hearings before Caesar.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Philippians 1". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/philippians-1.html. 1985.
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